Frances Tiafoe takes John Isner to the brink in US Open 1st Round thriller
Hailey Baptiste records impressive Grand Slam debut
Usue Arconada continues climbing WTA rankings with win in US Open Women’s Qualifying
Facing the #1 American for the first time in his career, Frances Tiafoe served for the match at 5-3 in the fifth set against #20 seed John Isner before succumbing to his opponent’s legendary tenacity and huge serve 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3) in a first round encounter at the US Open played before a full house on the new grandstand court.
“Frances proved to himself and to everyone witnessing his aggressive display of groundstrokes that at age 18 he is a force to be reckoned with on the ATP Tour,” said JTCC Senior Director of High Performance Frank Salazar.
Competing against players nearly four years older, fourteen-year- old Hailey Baptiste (ITF junior ranked #195) caused two upsets in the Girls’ draws defeating Czech Johana Markova (ITF #44) in the singles 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-2 and eliminating the #2 seeds in doubles teaming up with fellow American Ann Li to Amina Anshba (RUS) and Katarina Zavatcha (UKR) 6-2, 3-6, 10-7.
The US Open capped a memorable late summer stretch for Baptiste who reached the semifinals of the Wayne K.Curry Prince George’s County International Junior Tennis Championships (ITF Grade 1) held at JTCC. Her outstanding play was rewarded by the USTA with a wild card into Junior Girls’ qualifying at the US Open. She overcame Japan’s Mayuka Aikawa (ITF #73) 6-3, 6-2 and then American Dalayna Hewitt (ITF #162) 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-3 in qualifying to earn her spot in the main draw against Markova.
For the second time this summer, Usue Arconada, 17, beat a player more than 200 spots ahead of her in the WTA world rankings demonstrating her mental and physical skills to outlast world #206 Ya-Hsuan Lee from Taipei 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the US Open Women’s qualifying . In July, Arconada scored her first WTA main draw win at the Citi Open in Washington, DC over Canadian Francoise Abanda. Arconada’s victory moved her WTA to a career-high #392. She has climbed 230 places in the last two months.
“Frances, Hailey and Usue continue to make fantastic progress as their results at the Open and throughout the summer indicate,” said JTCC CEO Ray Benton. “ All of them have an excellent attitude towards improving and are dedicated to becoming the best players they can be.”